Capsule outlook of the area’s high school field hockey teams
High school field hockey outlook
Coach: Kelly Owen (18th year)
Last year: 1-13, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Jess Russell, sr., G; Hannah Thompson, sr., F/MF; Marissa Urbanek, jr., MF/D; Paige Belanger, sr., D; Faith McEvoy, sr., F
Outlook: With a wealth of experience (11 returning varsity players), the Green Giants are certainly hopeful of improving on last year. A couple of returning starters up front should bolster an offense that scored just six goals all of last season, when Brady was shut out 11 times. Russell’s return in the cages should help solidify the defense, as well. “All our returning players have a year of varsity experience under their belt and are aware of the competitive nature of Division II,” Coach Owen said. “We look forward to the challenge our schedule holds for us this season.”
Teams to beat: “All teams,” Owen said.
Coach: Lauren DiRenzo (1st year)
Last year: 12-4, lost in semifinals
Returning starters: Katie Lawson, sr., MF; Sarah Davis, sr., D; Sierra Welch, sr., MF
Top newcomers: Lyndsey Wheeler, fr., G; Laura Zebhlik, so., D; Jordan Mylod, jr., F
Outlook: The Falcons graduated 15 players from last year’s Final Four team, but nonetheless, Bow returns a strong core of juniors and seniors to a team that’s working hard together and is driven to continue its success. “The girls have shown drive, focus and team unity, which can bring success to any high school program,” said Coach DiRenzo, who was a varsity assistant and JV coach with the program last year. “Everyone is looking forward to the challenge of having an overall young team that mainly played on JV together last season. We are developing quickly and looking forward to our scrimmages and the start of the season.”
Teams to beat: “MV for sure within Division II, they have a lot of girls that have been playing for years together,” DiRenzo said. “Lebanon still has a great core set of girls that will have a great season ahead of them.”
Coach: Kim Kenney (19th year)
Last year: 10-5-1, lost in quarterfinals
Returning starters: Olivia Thurber, sr., F; Brit Fisher, sr., D; Erin Frost, sr., MF/D; Autumn Hoyt, sr., MF/D; Lily Davis, sr., F; Cassidy Huckins, jr., F
Outlook: After making it to the Division II quarterfinals, the Pride brings back a plethora of starters who will be eager to improve and make it into the later rounds. Merrimack Valley has the look of a team to beat in the division, with 13 seniors on the roster, five of whom are returning to starting positions. “We have many varsity players returning that saw substantial playing time last year,” Kenney said. “Players that saw limited playing time last year have stepped right into open positions, and they know what is expected of them.”
Teams to beat: “Division II is a tough division throughout,” Kenney said.
Coach: Deb Georgevits (1st year)
Last year: 2-12, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Katarina Styles, sr.; Indigo Boulay, jr.; Lexi Colpack, jr.; Shelby Joyce, jr.; Willow Moulton, jr.; Brigette Robichaud, jr.; Aimee Gargano, so.; Katarina Lohmann, so.
Top newcomers: Anna Doherty, fr.; Hailey Haskins, fr.; Lauren Pelletier, fr.; Abriale Pratt, fr.
Outlook: The Golden Tornadoes stumbled last year in another season that fell short of a tournament berth, but there’s reason for optimism in Franklin. The team has a new coach in Deb Georgevits, who won 136 games in 10 years at Concord and guided the Crimson Tide to five straight titles from 1986-90. For Georgevits to make her mark at Franklin and lift the Golden Tornadoes to their first playoff berth since 2003, she’ll need to do so with a cast that’s high in numbers, but also in inexperience. Only one senior returns to the mix of starters, and only four juniors on the squad played last season. Georgevits will try to develop her players into a scrappy team, and one that she expects will be “hardworking and competitive.”
Teams to beat: Derryfield, Winnisquam, Berlin
Coach: Patty Connolly (11th year)
Last year: 12-5, lost in semifinals
Returning starters: Brittany Marshall, sr.; Maddy Bergethon, sr.; Sonja Leavitt, sr.; Maddy Sorel, jr.; Callie Chase, jr.; Ireland Tawney, jr.; Maddy Cudmore, jr.
Top newcomers: Courtney Crouch, so.; Ally Rose, so.; Sierra Bickford, so.; Carolind Flood, so.; Emma Ouelette, jr.; Izzy Geson, jr.
Outlook: “Having our top scorer Brittany Marshall and our senior goalie Maddy Bergethon returning offers the Hawks that strong senior leadership on the field,” Coach Connolly said. “Maddy Sorel, Ireland Tawney (and) Callie Chase are all hard-working returners that know what it takes to produce wins on the field. We do have some younger talent rounding out the roster – so we need to work hard to get everyone on the same page.”
Teams to beat: Newfound, Derryfield, Berlin
Coach: Hanna Crisp (4th year)
Last year: 0-14, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Riley Beliveau, sr., D; Carly Cook, sr., MF; Kirstin Miller, sr., F; Jilli Kilar, jr., F; Sarah Provencal, jr., D; Clarissa Foote, sr., D; Jess Bighinatti, jr., D; Jen Rizzitano, sr., D
Top newcomer: Danielle McCarron, sr., MF
Outlook: Despite finishing last season with a winless record, the Generals showed a lot of improvement from their 2011 season, when they scored only two goals. Last year John Stark scored goals in half of its games and lost some close games that were decided in the final minutes. The Generals lost their starting goalie, but have a strong defense. Jerrilyn Wilson, the JV goalie last year, has looked good in preseason. The team is looking to the midfielders to work the ball up field and for the offense to score more goals.
Teams to beat: “All teams are competition,” Coach Crisp said.
Coach: Koreen Bennett (2nd year back, 15th overall)
Last year: 2-12, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Emmaline Keene, so.; Haley Joseph, sr.; Savannah Bell, jr.; Lily Huntoon, so.; Hannah Anderson, jr.; Lauren Rivet, sr.; Maddison Snaith, jr., G; Brianna Sullivan, so.
Top newcomers: Breyna Carey, Annie Tilley, Paige Blake
Outlook: The Cougars graduated six players and had several others not return, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of optimism at Kearsarge that this year’s team could fare much better than last year. Coach Bennett said this is a “cohesive and hard-working group. The group is very young with only two seniors on the team, but they have the drive and dedication it takes to turn things around this year.”
Teams to beat: “There are so many very competitive teams in this division,” Bennett said.
Coach: Cherie Snow (3rd year)
Last year: 9-5-1, lost in first round
Returning starters: Rachel Willcutt, sr., B; Kendra Lonergan, sr., G; Olivia Decormier, sr., MF; Kayla Langan, sr., MF; Alyssa Clogston, jr., B; Mackenzie Byers, jr., F; Erin McNamara, jr., MF; Haley Poirier, jr., F; Samantha Hall, jr., B; Madison Langan, so., B
Top newcomers: Lauren Bolstridge, fr., F; Cora Kelley, fr., MF
Outlook: With a slew of returning starters and an influx of talented freshmen, the Bears have the talent to contend with anyone on any given day, Coach Snow said. “A lot of it is the connection, just getting those freshmen in line with what I’ve done the last two years. … I think we’re going to be very competitive.”
Teams to beat: Berlin, Derryfield, Newfound, Gilford